Leader: ‘The voters deserve an explanation’

Have your say

YOU have to feel sorry for the good voters of Midlothian. Prior to the election of May 3, they had all of the parties banging on their doors, urging them to vote, talking about the importance of democracy and local services.

Yet, just weeks in, the newly elected leader quits, followed by the deputy. The least that voters deserve is an explanation.

At present, they have a statement from former leader Lisa Beattie which says that she always intended to step down. After five weeks? So she went through all that hullaballoo, photocalls, printing of business cards and stationery, knowing all along that she would step down. If that’s true it’s not only bizarre but wasteful.

The later decision by deputy Jim Bryant to step down has not been explained. Another Cabinet member has also resigned.

As opposition councillors have suggested, the people of Midlothian need to know what’s going on and have confidence in the council. The public have been kept in the dark and they have a right to know the true picture.

Being a councillor is not easy. The pay is far from stellar, there is a high level of scrutiny and the criticism when things go wrong can be intense.

But staying true to the principles which won you the votes – openness and transparency – is essential.

Mind over matter

PROFESSOR Peter Higgs has ensured that Edinburgh is yet again making headlines around the world for being at the forefront of scientific discovery.

His incredible achievements mean he will rightly be considered one of the finest scientific minds of his generation, with calls for him to be awarded the Nobel prize led by none other than Professor Stephen Hawking.

The marketing value of today’s “God Particle” mania to Edinburgh University – and the city’s reputation as a whole – is priceless, and we fully support moves to bestow every honour going on Prof Higgs, now 83.

It follows a number of successes in Edinburgh in the fields of medicine and bioscience, including the cloning of Dolly the Sheep at the Roslin Institute.

In the meantime, there is perhaps one other question which has stumped lesser minds and which Prof Higgs could help us out with – how exactly do you build a tram line from Edinburgh Airport to the city centre?

Let’s hope it doesn’t take 45 years to find the answer to that one.